37 Animal Analogies for FREE

Written by Rebecca
Updated: October 11, 2022
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Key Points:

  • An analogy is a comparison of two separate things based on characteristics that both have. An example would be, “Den is to fox as nest is to bird,” which represents two animals and the respective homes they live in.
  • A metaphor compares two things that would otherwise be unrelated except for one shared characteristic. “He’s as stubborn as a mule,” compares a person to the animal because of the shared trait of being stubborn.
  • Our animal analogies can be used to teach biology, aiding in memorization of important animal facts, species identification, geographic location, and other details. They can also help when studying for quizzes and tests.

Animal analogies make learning about the world’s amazing animals easy. They’re a fun way to remember important facts about each animal species. Our list of analogies covers everything from sounds to movement, habitats, and physical characteristics.

Have you ever used the phrase "quiet as a mouse?" Welcome to the world of animal analogies!
Have you ever used the phrase “quiet as a mouse?” Welcome to the world of animal analogies!

©Szasz-Fabian Jozsef/Shutterstock.com

How Should You Use Our Animal Analogies?

There are many ways you can use them. If you’re teaching biology, use them to help students remember important facts about animal characteristics, species identification, geographic location of these animals, and other important details.

Use them to devise tests or quizzes, for instance, by leaving the second animal in the analogy blank and asking your students to fill in the blanks. You can also ask your students to come up with their own animal analogies using these as examples.

For example, a metaphor used by many is “lizard brain.” This is a shoutout to when we as humans feel scared, stressed out, or react like reptiles. Reptiles don’t think in the same way people do, however, they have good reflexes for protecting themselves.

When someone uses the term “lizard brain”, it means that a part of your brain is activated from before humans evolved. It can be highlighted when people act erratically to danger or say things we later regret.

With that said, you can also use them to teach the concept of analogies to language learners. Grasping concepts like analogies is key to a deeper understanding of language.

Using our list of animals makes it fun and easy. Your students will understand analogies, including animal analogies, much better with our extensive list of the world’s fascinating animals.

What Are Animal Analogies?

Do you know what an analogy is? It’s a figure of speech that compares two separate beings based on characteristics that both have. For instance, if you say, “Glove is to hand as shoe is to foot,” you’re showing that a glove and a sock have the same relationship to those body parts, namely, both are coverings. The hand and the foot are different objects, but they share the fact that they both use coverings. Those coverings are different, and that difference creates the analogy.

Using one of our animal analogies, if we say, “Den is to fox as nest is to bird,” we’re showing that both foxes and birds need shelter. The fox’s shelter is a den, and the bird’s shelter is a nest. This animal analogy shows that both animals share a need for shelter, but each animal needs a different kind. The meaning of the analogy is the concept of shelter.

Animal analogies such as “Den is to fox as nest is to bird” make for great teaching tools.
Animal analogies such as “Den is to fox as nest is to bird” make for great teaching tools.

©RT Images/Shutterstock.com

Are Animal Analogies the Same as Animal Metaphors?

No, they’re not the same thing. A metaphor is a figure of speech that compares two things that would otherwise be unrelated except for one shared characteristic. For instance, when you say, “That guy is as big as a house,” you’re using metaphor. Everyone knows houses are large. Describing someone that way means they are larger than the average person.

You can also use metaphor without saying “as big as,” for instance, you could simply say, “That guy is a house.” The meaning of your metaphor is still clear. You’re not really saying the person is a house, but you are saying that they’re exceptionally tall or large.

Like animal analogies, animal metaphors are quite common. Some animal metaphors you may have heard include, “She’s as brave as a lion,” or “They’re as playful as monkeys.” You may have even used expressions like “stubborn as a mule” or “strong as an ox.” These are all metaphors that compare a person to an animal because of a shared characteristic.

“They’re as playful as monkeys" is one of many common animal analogies.
“They’re as playful as monkeys” is one of many common animal analogies.

©Ludmila Ruzickova/Shutterstock.com

So How Is an Analogy Different?

An analogy is more complex than a simple metaphor. In an analogy, including animal analogies, you create a relationship between two different things and show a relationship between them based on logic and reason.

Your 37 Animal Analogies

  1. Goose is to flock as fish is to school.
  2. Snake is to slither as beaver is to swim.
  3. Whale is to cetacean as chimpanzee is to primate.
  4. Red is to cardinal as white is to polar bear.
  5. Lion is to carnivore as opossum is to omnivore.
  6. Kid is to goat as kitten is to cat.
  7. Cheetah is to spots as skunk is to stripes.
  8. Raven is to feathers as lizard is to scales.
  9. Zebra is to Africa as penguin is to Antarctica.
  10. Mouse is to squeak as lion is to roar.
  11. Chicken is to chick as shark is to pup.
  12. Moth is to fly as kangaroo is to hop.
  13. Scales are to fish as fur is to lynx.
  14. Ladybug is to insect as spider is to arachnid.
  15. Squirrel is to nuts as panda is to eucalyptus.
  16. Sardine is to fish as seal is to mammal.
  17. Bison is to Bovidae as cheetah is to Felidae.
  18. Den is to fox as nest is to bird.
  19. Howl is to wolf as screech is to eagle.
  20. Otter is to mammal as frog is to amphibian.
  21. Joey is to koala as puppy is to dog.
  22. Roe is to fish as eggs are to chickens.
  23. Horns are to elk as tusks are to elephants.
  24. Lungs are to rabbits as blowholes are to killer whales.
  25. Song is to bluebird as chirp is to cricket.
  26. Claws are to tiger as talons are to hawk.
  27. A proboscis is to a moth as a mouth is to a tortoise.
  28. Water is to fish as air is to humans.
  29. Cub is to bear as duckling is to duck.
  30. Roost is to bats as pod is to dolphins.
  31. Paw is to bear as tentacle is to octopus.
  32. Lamb is to sheep as foal is to donkey.
  33. Vixen is to fox as mare is to horse.
  34. Hover is to hummingbird as walk is to antelope.
  35. Jungle is to toucan as ocean is to whale.
  36. Giraffe is to Africa as koala is to Australia.
  37. Chameleon is to reptile as centipede is to insect.

Bonus: A Few Fun Metaphors

While these may not help you ace your biology test, we thought we’d share some fun, popular animal metaphors:

  1. You’re a cheeky monkey.
  2. She’s a fish out of water.
  3. I’ve been as busy as a beaver this week.
  4. There’s an elephant in the room.
  5. He’s a night owl.
  6. That guy’s a loan shark.
  7. He’s a cold hearted snake.
  8. They made me the scapegoat.
  9. You’re a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
  10. She’s a workhorse.

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Mouse peeking out from the grass
Mouse peeking out from the grass
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About the Author

My name is Rebecca and I've been a Professional Freelancer for almost a decade. I write SEO content and graphic design. When I'm not working, I'm obsessing over cats and pet rats.

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